Good energy habits work at their best when tackled collectively, by everyone at once. Even a single mindful user can have a notable impact, but by making responsible choices about the way we purchase and use energy, we can all have an exponentially greater effect. As an energy-conscious landlord, helping your tenants to create good energy habits can benefit both parties together as well as the wider community.
Often, just the act of taking note of how energy is used and the impact of your own habits can be enough to motivate friends, neighbors, and tenants into action. Taking definitive steps such as choosing an environmentally conscious energy provider, utilizing smart devices to monitor and curb excess usage, and being aware of your personal consumption can itself provide the helpful nudge to encourage better habits.
Data is the single most powerful tool we have to create good energy habits and long-lasting change. Identifying trends and usage patterns through meter reads and smart devices can contribute to creating better energy strategies that reduce overall consumption.
With meter read values, we can view a baseline of energy use that can be employed to build better habits. Targeting specific figures as a goal to reach, to reduce and improve on in the future, creates an incentive that is internally motivated. Simply creating attainable goals and educating tenants that the way they use energy can have significant results on reducing consumption.
On top of simple meter reads, smart devices that connect to the home can play an active role in adjusting energy use and drastically reduce the energy wasted day-to-day. These devices play a dual role, both displaying energy usage data and actively responding to conditions to keep users on track.
Home automation is booming in popularity precisely because of its ability to employ machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to respond to unique conditions, user preference, and activity levels in real-time. Automated programs maintain constant, efficient energy use throughout the home, while remote connection allows the end-user to maintain control. The advantage to tenants is an increase in comfort and a decrease in both utility bills and carbon footprint, as energy use is tailored specifically to the needs of the home.
Commonly held devices such as smartphones and tablets allow tenants to adjust their home energy use from inside or outside the home. The result is an increase in comfort and a reduction in wasted energy. The inherent power in modern smart home technology is its ability to create an environment where it is easier to build good habits than maintain bad ones.
Responsible energy use is increasingly important to both landlords and tenants alike. Everyone has a role to play in reducing consumption and spending energy resources wisely. As a landlord and business owner, you hold responsibility for more than just the energy use of your own household. By making strategic decisions about where and how you source your energy in a deregulated market, you can have a larger influence and impact than you would in an energy-regulated state where customers cannot choose their supplier.
Proactive conversations surrounding energy use, the introduction and deployment of useful technology solutions, and leading the way by example can help form good energy habits that will serve both you and your tenants for life.
 Allcott, H. (2011). Social norms and energy conservation. Journal of Public Economics, 95(9–10), 1082–1095. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2011.03.003
 Appendix 8.5: What is the evidence from the international experience of smart meters? (2014). Retrieved from https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/576bcb9be5274a0da900007c/appendix-8-5-evidence-of-international-experience-of-smart-meters-fr.pdf